I hope that you are having a great week and looking forward to a marvellous Shabbat ahead together.
Last night we celebrated Lag BaOmer with Camps Bay Shul and it was a fantastic (and delicious and magical) community bonding experience. Someone commented to me that it was great to be together with our Morasha friends whom we see quite often, but also with plenty of new Camps Bay faces. I agreed – I’m a big fan of Morasha functions, but it is great to connect with new people, but to go to a function without a substantial Morasha contingent is also just not the same – so it was really great, and we have more such partnerships in the wings as you will see.
This Shabbat we wish a hearty Mazal Tov to the Bachmann family on Maya’s Batmitzva! It is strange for me to realise that I have known this young lady for more than half her life – and what a joy it is to celebrate with her and her wonderful family.
Next week Tuesday night – 28 May – we will be saying special prayers for Israeli soldier and victim of a terror attack Netanel Felber (Netanel Ilan ben Shayna Tzipora). He was injured in December and has not yet regained consciousness. Our own Bnei Akiva shlicha Avia Wolff is a personal friend of his and we will be joining communities from New York, Paris, Sao Paolo, Sydney and more to pray for his recovery. It will be part of the Mincha Maariv service which begins at 5:30pm.
Yom Yerushalayim is around the corner and we have a wonderful celebration planned for that too. In partnership with Bnei Akiva, Camps Bay Shul, Sephardi Hebrew Congregation and South African Zionist Federation, we’re having a Sunday morning Tefilla Chagigit with musical Hallel, delicious breakfast and guest speaker Rabbi Gideon Pogrund. It will be nourishing to the body (breakfast) mind (speaker) heart (musical Hallel) and soul (Yerushalayim) so make sure to book your place! And for a little more nourishment later in the evening Gardens Shul is hosting noted Israeli Cantor Shai Abrahamson, and if you’re going – I’ll see you there!
We have the pleasure of having Rabbi Pogrund not only for Yom Yerushalayim, but for the entire Shabbat and most notably a special Friday night dinner with a leadership theme, in partnership with the Eliot Osrin Leadership Institute. This will be a chance to get together with great leaders and aspiring leaders from within the Cape Town Jewish community and to learn to how to take our leadership to the next level from one who is very well positioned to do so.
Shavuot is also approaching fast and I urge you to book your places at our Tikkun Leil Dinner and open your mind to learn and heart to share some fascinating and uplifting Torah. Our Shavuot learning programme is always one of the highlights of my year, and this year will be better than ever! We are partnering with Bnei Akiva and the Sephardi Hebrew Congregation and bringing out Rabbi Shalom Hammer, and drawing on our very impressive local talent as well.
Finally I recently attended a presentation by our member Michael Sternberg who is also a representative of the Rambam Trust. The Rambam Trust gives free loans to members of the Jewish community and has lent out literally millions of rands to people who have found themselves illiquid for whatever reason – and they would like to expand the pool of the people whom they are helping. If you or someone you know would benefit from this sort of loan, all that you need is a payment plan to repay whatever you have borrowed (interest free) over a period of time not more than 24 months, and 2 people who will sign surety for your loan. You are welcome to contact Michael directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Aviva, Shalva, Tzuriya, Azriel and I wish you a Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi Sam Thurgood